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Learning (More) Patience Through Gardening

Last updated on February 29, 2020

We had sunshine the other day.

I thought I’d be spending some of the weekend planting wildflowers and willow trees.

Instead, am happy to still have power and internet while Storm Jorge puts me off going out.

Still, the lesson of patience still stands.

And I’ve been using the time to do indoor things including getting my therapy space ready.

I realise that my wanting to know how things will do (will they grow?) in terms of being a novice wild gardener is fine but, ultimately, no one KNOWS how things will do (how will ANYthing we attempt turn out? We can only ever do our best).

I was given these willow cuttings at our weekly Coastal Communities for Climate Action peaceful presence yesterday at the Octagon in Westport (we’re there every Friday since 11th October from 1-2pm in support of the global kids’ strike as well as wanting to do something ourselves) and so I’m also researching as much as I can to identify the safest as well as best spots to plant them.

Will they actually turn into willow trees?

Apparently it IS that easy and yes, it’s highly likely that they will.

Will their roots grow very invasively and create a problem for my home and pipes?

I think I’ll plant further away than I’d LIKE to (in an ideal world) because that feels like the sensible thing to do.

From my perspective (never had a garden let alone a front lawn (sometimes lake), side strip (wildflowers!) and field), it’s easy to imagine what I hope will happen but I have no frame of reference beyond watching the odd gardening programming and learning from new friends. And the internet.

And this is something I learned on the more metaphorical level when I started my coaching training.

I loved the metaphors around planning an outcome and taking action to move in that direction and not being so impatient to see results that we disturb the growth and progress by digging up seeds to see how they’re doing.

As someone who still reads the last few pages of books (even when they’re memoirs and I KNOW the author’s survived), this was a learning curve and now I get to ground and embody it further as I watch this garden / field / ARK take shape over the coming years and even decades.

When you take action, either planting something physical or taking steps towards a goal or dream, what helps you stay (or become) patient?

For me, one of the most helpful things is to take action on something else (as opposed to wasting time waiting for someone else to come back to me / make a decision / do their bit etc).

What metaphorical (or actual) seeds are you hoping will take root today?

What will support you as you WAIT or get on with other things?

What have you grown in your life in the past?

How does remembering previous seeds you’ve planted flourishing help you as you consider these current seeds?

Maybe you’ve had experiences of the seeds – physical or metaphorical – NOT flourishing.

What have you learned from things NOT going the way you’d hoped?

You might want to be your own self care coach and use the questions above as journal prompts.

And if you’d like my support in working towards whatever it is you’re wanting to work towards (or help in figuring that out) and my approach appeals, get in touch to arrange a free telephone consultation.

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

One Comment

  1. Cherry Wilkinson Cherry Wilkinson

    Welcome to the world of gardening, Eve. For me it has been a lifelong passion, a paid job for a time and, now in retirement, a continuing joy. Growing from seed or cuttings, sharing plants with other gardeners and enjoying the peace and contentment that a garden brings are just some of the rewards. Look forward to hearing about yours xx

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